The Simla Conference 1945 was a meeting between the Viceroy of India Lord Wavell and the major political leaders of British India at Simla. Convened to agree on and approve the Wavell Plan for Indian self-government, and there it reached a potential agreement for the self-rule of India that provided separate representation for Muslims and reduced majority powers for both communities in their majority regions.
The Governor-General of India was the representative of the Monarch of the United Kingdom and after Indian independence in 1947, the representative of the Indian head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William. The officer had direct control only over Fort William, but supervised other East India Company officials in India. Complete authority over all of British India was granted in 1833, and the official came to be known as the "Governor-General of India".
Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell, was a senior officer of the British Army. He served in the Second Boer War, the Bazar Valley Campaign and World War I, during which he was wounded in the Second Battle of Ypres. He served in the Second World War, initially as Commander-in-Chief Middle East, in which role he led British forces to victory over the Italians in western Egypt and eastern Libya during Operation Compass in December 1940, only to be defeated by the German Army in the Western Desert in April 1941. He served as Commander-in-Chief, India, from July 1941 until June 1943 and then served as Viceroy of India until his retirement in February 1947.
Shimla, also known as Simla, is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Shimla is also a district which is bounded by the state of Uttarakhand in the south-east, districts of Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the east, Sirmaur in the south and Solan in the west. In 1864, Shimla was declared as the summer capital of British India, succeeding Murree, northeast of Rawalpindi. After independence, the city became the capital of Punjab and was later made the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It is the principal commercial, cultural and educational centre of the state.
Talks, however, stalled on the issue of selection of Muslim representatives. Seeking to assert itself and its claim to be the sole representative of Indian Muslims, the All-India Muslim League refused to back any plan in which the Indian National Congress, the dominant party in the talks, appointed Muslim representatives. [ citation needed ]This scuttled the conference, and perhaps the last viable opportunity for a united, independent India. When the Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim League reconvened under the Cabinet Mission the next year, the Indian National Congress was far less sympathetic to the Muslim League's requests despite Jinnah's approval of the British plan.
The All-India Muslim League was a political party established in 1906 in the British Indian Empire. Its strong advocacy for the establishment of a separate Muslim-majority nation-state, Pakistan, successfully led to the partition of British India in 1947 by the British Empire.
The Indian National Congress(
On 14 June 1945 Lord Wavell announced a plan for a new Executive Council in which all members except the Viceroy and the Commander in Chief would be Indians. This executive council was to be a temporary measure until a new permanent constitution could be agreed upon and come into force. All portfolios except Defense would be held by Indian members.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill as head of the war cabinet proposed Field Marshal Wavell's name to his cabinet in mid-June 1943, as India's next viceroy. General Sir Claude Auchinleck who had followed Wavell in his middle eastern command was to be the next commander in chief of Indian army after Lord Wavell. In October 1943 the British Government decided to replace Lord Linlithgow with Lord Wavell as the Viceroy of India. Before assuming the viceroyalty, Lord Wavell had been head of the Indian army and thus had an understanding of the Indian situation. On becoming Viceroy, Wavell’s most important task was to present a formula for the future government of India which would be acceptable to both the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, until 1801 known as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, and together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and ultimately to the electorate. The office of Prime Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. The current holder of the office, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British statesman, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was instead a member of the Liberal Party.
The Churchill war ministry was the United Kingdom's coalition government for most of the Second World War from 10 May 1940 to 23 May 1945. It was led by Winston Churchill, who was appointed Prime Minister by King George VI following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain in the aftermath of the Norway Debate.
Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement in August 1942, after which he was arrested with other Congress lieutenants like Nehru and Patel. He was kept separate in Agha Khan's Pune palace while others were kept in Ahmednagar Fort.[ circular reference ] Now he decided to launch his '' Satyagraha '', he commenced after the early morning breakfast on 10 February 1943 a fast for 21 days. Weighing 109 pounds when he started fast lost eighteen pounds after his 21-day ordeal. Fearing the death of Gandhi in prison as before him Kasturba his wife and Mahadev Desai his private secretary were died in the same prison in Pune Palace, Lord Linlithgow recommended Churchill immediate unconditional release of Gandhi. Churchill wrote back to Linlithgow, "it seems almost certain that the old rascal [Gandhi] will emerge all better for his so-called fast.'' Gandhi broke his fast on 3 March 1943. Gandhi suffered from malaria, and after that his health was seriously deteriorated. New Viceroy Archibald Wavell, recommended his unconditional release, Leo Amery the secretary of state for India convinced Churchill to release Gandhi on medical grounds, so he was released. Instead of dying Gandhi showed remarkable resilience and recovered. It was quite funny when Churchill sent Wavell a peevish telegram asking ''why Gandhi has not died yet?'' Communal problem was the greatest problem for any political advance in India, so Wavell also began to agree with Amery's conviction that until "Aged Trinity" (Gandhi, Churchill and Jinnah) is in lead there is a little chance of any political advance. Lord Wavell had a plan in his mind and was eager to invite key leaders to a summit, but he was waiting for something to come out of Gandhi-Jinnah meetings rescheduled on 9 September. C. Rajagopalachari has presented a formula before that meeting that was accepting the Muslim right for a separate homeland. Talks started on 9 September 1944 in Mallabar Hill house of Jinnah, both leaders spent three and half hours of secret discussion but Gandhi later with C. R. called it a "test of my patience and nothing and I am amazed at my own patience." Their second meeting proved no more fruitful than first one, Jinnah sensed by this time the futility of talks. Then there was a session of written correspondence on 11, 12, 13 and 14 September, and on 24, 25 and 26 September 1944, but nothing came out of it. Gandhi by now believed that "Jinnah was a good person but he suffers hallucination when he imagines about unnatural division of India and creation of Pakistan". Wavell wired to Amery, "Gandhi wants independence first and then willing to resolve communal problem as he is profoundly a Hindu and wants transfer of full Power to some nebulous national", While Jinnah wants to settle down communal problem first and then wants independence as he has lost his trust in Congress and Hindus." Wavell also viewed this mini-summit breakdown a personal challenge to bring together two parties. He has many creative ideas, and was willing to use his influence and power to settle the communal deadlock. He would try to bring some moderate Indian leaders on a settlement by calling them to Shimla (India's summer capital). His list included as he told to Amery, "Gandhi and one "other" of Congress party, Jinnah and one other member of Muslim League, Dr. Ambedkar to represent "Depress classes", Tara Singh to represent Sikhs, M. N. Roy for labor representation, and some other to represent Non-Congress and Non-League Hindus and Muslims. After correspondence with Amery in October, now Wavell decided to write Churchill directly and he tried to convince Churchill in this regard though he was sure that Churchill was reluctant for any summit as "he hate India and anything to do with it". Churchill informed Amery the possibility to see Wavell not before March 1945, Wavell on his own behalf met with Jinnah on 6 December, and tried to convince him to live in United India as this will be much more beneficial for all as it will represent a strong nation on international level. Jinnah argued that "Indian unity was only a British creation". Benghal's governor Richard Casey was well informed about Congress-League relation that he wrote to Wavell, "Congress is basically responsible for the growth of Pakistan idea, by the way they treated the Muslims especially by refusing them into coalition provincial governments." Wavell agreed with everything Casey said about Pakistan, writing in his reply "I do not believe that Pakistan will work". Churchill chaired his war cabinet that reviewed and rejected Wavell's proposal for constitutional reforms in India on December 18. But Wavell was invited to visit England, and met with Churchill and Cabinet in May 1945. Wavell was allowed to fly back to India in June 1945 to release Congress Working Committee member and start talks that was later called Shimla Conference. Wavell decided to call all key leaders of India in Shimla on 25 June 1945 and broadcast a message to all Indians on 14 June 1945 showing British willingness to give India dominion status as soon as possible if the communal deadlock is broken down. "India needs a surgical operation", Nehru noted after considering Wavell's idea, "We have to get rid of our preoccupation with petty problem" as he considered communal problem a petty problem. Jinnah accepted the invitation but if he could meet with Wavell alone first on 24 June.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā was applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa and is now used worldwide. In India, he was also called Bapu, a term that he preferred, and Gandhi ji, and is known as the Father of the Nation.
The Quit India Movement, or the August Movement, was a movement launched at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee by Gandhi on 8 August 1942, during World War II, demanding an end to British Rule of India.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was an Indian independence activist, and subsequently, the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence. He emerged as an eminent leader of the Indian independence movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi and served India as Prime Minister from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in 1964. He has been described by the Amar Chitra Katha as the architect of India. He was also known as Pandit Nehru due to his roots with the Kashmiri Pandit community while Indian children knew him as Chacha Nehru.
One day before the conference was convened on 24 June, Wavell met with Azad, Gandhi and Jinnah to assess their approach. He noted in his diary, "Gandhi and Jinnah are behaving like very temperamental prima donnas". Lord Wavell officially opened the summit at 11:00 am on 25 June 1945. In the beginning Azad being president of Congress spoke of its "non-communal" character. Jinnah spoke of Congress' predominately Hindu character, at that point there was a tug of war that was settled down by Wavell's intervention. On the morning of 29 June the conference was reconvened and Wavell asked parties to submit list of candidates for his new council, Azad agreed while Jinnah refused to submit a list before consulting Muslim League's working committee. Conference was adjourned till 14 July, meanwhile Wavell met with Jinnah on 8 July and tried to convince him as Jinnah was determined to nominate all Muslim member from Muslim League's platform as he considered Congress Muslim representatives as "Show Boys". Wavell gave him a letter that was placed in front of Muslim League's Working Committee on 9 July. Jinnah replied after careful consideration of Working Committee, "I regret to inform you that you have been failed to give assurance relating nomination of all Muslim members form Muslim League's platform so we are not able to submit a list." The Viceroy was equally resolved not to give at that point and wired to Amery at that night his own list of new council members. Four were to be Muslim League members (Liaquat Ali Khan, Khawaja Nazimuddin, Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman and Eassak Sait) and another Non-League Muslim Muhammad Nawaz Khan (a Punjabi landlord). The five 'Caste Hindus' had to be Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Madhav Shrihari Aney, B. N. Rau. Tara Singh was to represent Sikhs and B. R. Ambedkar to "untouchables" John Mathai was the only Christian thus bringing total to sixteen with Viceroy and Commander-in-Chief. Amery asked Wavell to consult this list with Jinnah, when Jinnah was asked about Muslim names he bitterly refused to allow any League member to be part of the government until the League's right to be the sole representative of Muslims of India was acknowledged. Wavell found this demand impossible thus he half an hour later told Gandhi about his failure, Gandhi took news calmly and said "H. M. G. sooner or later have to take Hindu or Muslim point of view as they were irreconcilable." Thus the Wavell plan that was later to be called Shimla Conference was badly failed.
Maulana Sayyid Abul Kalam Ghulam Muhiyuddin Ahmed bin Khairuddin Al-Hussaini Azad
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a lawyer, politician and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as the leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan's creation on 14 August 1947, and then as Pakistan's first Governor-General until his death. He is revered in Pakistan as Quaid-i-Azam and Baba-i-Qaum, "Father of the Nation"). His birthday is considered a national holiday in Pakistan.
Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett Amery CH, usually known as Leo Amery or L. S. Amery, was a British Conservative Party politician and journalist, noted for his interest in military preparedness, British India and the British Empire and for his opposition to appeasement.
In May 1945 Wavell visited London and discussed his ideas with the British Government. These London talks resulted in the formulation of a definite plan of action which was officially made public simultaneously on 14 June 1945 by L.S. Amery, the Secretary of State for India, in the House of Commons and by Wavell in a broadcast speech delivered from Delhi. The plan, commonly known as the Wavell Plan, proposed the following:
1. The Viceroy’s Executive Council would be immediately reconstituted and the number of its members would be increased.
2. In the Council there would be equal representation of high-caste Hindus and Muslims.
4. All the members of the Council, except the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief, would be Indians.
5. An Indian would be appointed as the member for Foreign Affairs in the Council. However, a British commissioner would be responsible for trade matters.
6. The defence of India would remain in British hands until power was ultimately transferred to Indians.
7. The Viceroy would convene a meeting of Indian politicians including the leaders of Congress and the Muslim League at which they would nominate members of the new Council.
8. If this plan were to be approved for the central government, then similar councils of local political leaders would be formed in all the provinces.
9. None of the changes suggested would in any way prejudice or prejudge the essential form of the future permanent Constitution of India.
To discuss these proposals with Indian leaders, Wavell summoned them to a conference to take place in Simla on 25 June 1945.
The Wavell Plan, in essence, proposed the complete Indianisation of the Executive Council, but instead of asking all the parties to nominate members to the Executive Council from all the communities, seats were reserved for members on the basis of religion and caste, with the caste Hindus and Muslims being represented on it on the basis of parity. Even Mahatma Gandhi resented the use of the words “caste Hindus”.
While the plan proposed immediate changes to the composition of the Executive Council it did not contain any guarantee of Indian independence, nor did it contain any mention of a future constituent assembly or any proposals for the division of power between the various parties of India.
Meanwhile, a general election had been held in the United Kingdom in July 1945 which had brought the Labour Party to power. The Labour party wanted to transfer power to the Indians as quickly as possible. The new government sent the Cabinet Mission to India and this proved to be the final nail in the coffin of the Wavell Plan.
The Partition of India was the division of British India in 1947 which accompanied the creation of two independent dominions, India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India is today the Republic of India and Dominion of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition involved the division of two provinces, Bengal and the Punjab, based on district-wise Hindu or Muslim majorities. It also involved the division of the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury, between the two new dominions. The partition was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, or Crown rule in India. The two self-governing countries of India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.
Events in the year 1945 in India.
The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan was a religious political movement in the 1940s that aimed for and succeeded in the creation of Dominion of Pakistan from the Muslim-majority areas of the British Indian Empire.
The Radcliffe Line was the boundary demarcation line between the Indian and Pakistani portions of the Punjab and Bengal provinces of British India. It was named after its architect, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who, as the joint chairman of the two boundary commissions for the two provinces, received the responsibility to equitably divide 175,000 square miles (450,000 km2) of territory with 88 million people.
The three Round Table Conferences of 1930–32 were a series of peace conferences organized by the British Government and Indian national congress was participant to discuss constitutional reforms in India. These started in November 1930 and ended in December 1932. They were conducted as per the recommendation of Jinnah to Viceroy Lord Irwin and Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, and by the report submitted by the Simon Commission in May 1930. Demands for Swaraj, or self-rule, in India had been growing increasingly strong. B. R. Ambedkar, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Mirabehn are key participants from India. By the 1930s, many British politicians believed that India needed to move towards dominion status. However, there were significant disagreements between the Indian and the British political parties that the Conferences would not resolve. The key topic was about constitution and India which was mainly discussed in that conference. There were three Round Table Conferences from 1930 to 1932.
The Cripps Mission was a failed attempt in late March 1942 by the British government to secure full Indian cooperation and support for their efforts in World War II. The mission was headed by a senior minister Sir Stafford Cripps, Lord Privy Seal and leader of the House of Commons. Cripps belonged to the left-wing Labour Party, traditionally sympathetic to Indian self-rule, but was also a member of the coalition War Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had long been the leader of the movement to block Indian independence.
Direct Action Day, also known as the Great Calcutta Killings, was a day of widespread communal rioting between Muslims and Hindus in the city of Calcutta in the Bengal province of British India. The day also marked the start of what is known as The Week of the Long Knives.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Malik Khizar Hayat TiwanaKCSI, OBE was a Punjabi statesman, army officer, and landowner who served as the Unionist Premier of the Punjab between 1942 and 1947.
Captain Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, KBE, also written Sikandar Hyat Khan or Sikander Hyat-Khan, was a statesman from the Punjab. He held the office of Prime Minister of the Punjab among other positions.
The Cabinet Mission came to India aimed to discuss the transfer of power from the British government to the Indian leadership, with the aim of preserving India's unity and granting it independence. Formulated at the initiative of Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the mission had Lord Pethick-Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, and A. V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty. Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, did not participate in every step but was present and it was divided into three groups A,B,C clusters.
United Bengal is a political ideology for a unified Bengali-speaking nation in South Asia. The ideology developed among Bengali nationalists after the first partition of Bengal in 1905. The British-ruled Bengal Presidency was divided into Western Bengal and Eastern Bengal and Assam to weaken the independence movement; after much protest Bengal was reunited in 1911.
The history of the British Raj refers to the period of British rule on the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947. The system of governance was instituted in 1858 when the rule of the East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria. It lasted until 1947, when the British provinces of India were partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan, leaving the princely states to choose between them. The two new dominions later became the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The province of Burma in the eastern region of the Indian Empire had been made a separate colony in 1937 and became independent in 1948.
Sir Mian Fazl-i-Husain, KCSI was an influential Punjabi politician during the British Raj and a founding member of the Unionist Party of the Punjab.
C. Rajagopalachari's formula was a proposal formulated by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari to solve the political deadlock between the All India Muslim League and the Indian National Congress on the independence of British India. The League's position was that the Muslims and Hindus of British India were of two separate nations and hence the Muslims had the right to their own nation. The Congress, which included both Hindu and Muslim members, was opposed to the idea of partitioning India. With the advent of the Second World War the British administration required both parties to agree so that Indian help could be sought for the war effort.
Provincial elections were held in British India in the winter of 1936-37 as mandated by the Government of India Act 1935. Elections were held in eleven provinces - Madras, Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, United Provinces, Bombay Presidency, Assam, NWFP, Bengal, Punjab and Sindh.
The August Offer was a proposal made by the British government in 1940 promising the expansion of the Executive Council of the Viceroy of India to include more Indians, the establishment of an advisory war council, giving full weight to minority opinion, and the recognition of Indians' right to frame their own constitution. In return, it was hoped that all parties and communities in India would cooperate in Britain's efforts in World War II. However this proposal was rejected by the Congress as the minorities, especially the Muslim League, were assured that no constitutional scheme was acceptable to the government without their agreement, i.e. providing a veto power to the Muslim League. The Muslim League did not accept the offer as it did not give a clear assurance that a separate Pakistan would be established.
General elections were held in British India in December 1945 to elect members of the Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of State. The Indian National Congress emerged as the largest party, winning 59 of the 102 elected seats. The Muslim League won all Muslim constituencies, but failed to win any other seats. Of the 13 remaining seats, 8 went to Europeans, 3 to independents, and 2 to Akali candidates in the Sikh constituencies of Punjab. This election coupled with the provincial one in 1946 proved to be a strategic victory for Jinnah and the partitionists. Even though Congress won, the League had united the Muslim vote and as such it gained the negotiating power to seek a separate Muslim homeland as it became clear that a united India would prove highly unstable. The elected members later formed the Constituent Assembly of India.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Simla Conference .|